A local legend for their fantastic selection of books and a cool, gay-friendly cafe serving healthful and affordable victuals and designer coffees and teas, Malaprops
(55 Haywood St.
, 828-254-6734) might just be the most famous shopping destination in downtown Asheville - the store has been going strong since opening in 1982. The expansive store has one of the best sections for gay, lesbian, bi, and otherwise queer literature, plus lots on cooking, Southern lit, gardening, architecture, art, children's titles, and antiques/crafts/furniture. There's an outstanding section on North Carolina local lore and history. The cafe appeals to a decidedly arch, artsy, and gay set - sometimes it's more cruisy in here than the gay bars in Asheville.